A year ago, the front-man of Saint-Petersburg’s group “SBPCh” and simultaneously a well-known restaurant-keeper Kirill Ivanov spoke against the Special military operation and canceled all concerts in Russia. Now Ivanov is preparing for concerts in Europe, yet, meanwhile, his restaurants in Sankt-Petersburg continue providing services to state companies.
The 38-year-old leader of the indie-group “SBPCh” (in Russian “The biggest prime number – СБПЧ”) Kirill Ivanov declared his position in four days after the beginning of the Special military operation. “I am against the war. You need to repeat it all the time. You need to tell that there is a war in Ukraine. And no matter how difficult to admit it, our country started it”.
At the end of his proud statement, Ivanov added: “I don’t care about the exchange rate of dollar, about visas, planes, about future, I don’t care about anything”. Despite allegedly I-couldn’t-care less attitude, this indie pop-group still has planned a number of concerts in Europe. In particular, during gigs in March 2023, the group “SBPCh” will give a concerts in Budapest, Wien, Berlin and Amsterdam.
“We don’t perform now in Russia, as I can’t imagine the thing: to take to the stage and to say nothing about the war. We are trying to make concerts around the whole world”, explained Ivanov in an interview with the media outlet “Meduza”**. One would like to ask the “uncompromising” Ivanov: what about his restaurant business in Russia, providing services to clients, making millions – and not a single word about the war?
By the way, within the framework of taking care about his image, Kirill Ivanov has been for a long time cooperating with “Meduza”. This Latvian publication has been permanently promoting new albums of the group “SBPCh”.
“Feels like (we, of course, have not specially counted) no other group has had so many first performances on “Meduza” as “SBPCH”, wrote “Meduza”.
When, in April 2021, the Ministry on Justice of the Russian Federation put the media outlet in the list of foreign agents, the artist Ivanov (as they say about somebody like him – they don’t remember kinship) recorded an encouraging statement and wrote a song: “This is an incredible stupidity, injustice, drivel and bollocks… I would like to dedicate the song “At Rest” to “Meduza”. I would like very much that “Meduza” and all of us would be let along at last”.
Yet, declaring about his wish with regard to be let along at last, Ivanov is dodging a bit. Because in such a case he will stop receiving money from Russia, from state agencies.
In his native Sankt-Petersburg, Ivanov is known not only as the front-man of the musical group “SBPCh”. In the early 2010s, he started several public food services – the restaurant “Society of Clean Plates” and the bar “Mishka” (“Bear” in Russian). The chef Alexander Berkovsky became Ivanov’s partner. Customers of “The Society of Clean Plates” and “Mishka” receive receipts with the signatures of the OJSC “Kotiki” (“Cats” in Russian) and the OJSC “Yedinorogi” (“Rhinoceros” in Russia). In “Cats” Ivanov has 80% of stakes, and in “Yedonorogi” 50%.
“The name of a legal person has nothing to do with marketing, except for a “marketing” directed at tax agency. It simply shows our attitude towards life, it seems to us we are engaged in something jolly and pleasant”, explained the Berkovsky the emergence in documents of “cats” and “rhinoceros”.
The OJSC “Kotiki” (Cats) is responsible for the dance bar “Mishka Bar”. “Here is always very crowded and soulful: in the bar, they pour branded “shots” at quite democratic prices, they provide the tastiest salads and sandwiches, and it’s always possible to meat at the next table a local celebrity”, so this establishment is described in mass media.
“The Society of Clean Plates” is owned by the OJSC “Yedinorogi”. In the description of the restaurant is said: “We are the biggest professional servicing company in the sphere of catering and off premise servicing in Sankt-Petersburg”. Both companies are dealing primarily with delivery food to offices, and with ferrying around food boxes to private customers.
Members of “The Society of Clean Plates” are 8 cooperative canteens for employees of the firm “Yandex”, the bank “Sberbank” and the company “Gazpromneft”. The catering company has been winning for several years in a row tenders to organize corporative nutrition.
In its turn, the OJSC “Kotiki” took part in open government procurement tenders, as the website Prigovor.ru has found out. In 2019, the company won the tender to provide off-premise food services for the Federal state budget agency “Administration of Baltic Sea Ports” in the amount of 227 thousand rubles.
In 2021, the earnings of “Yedinorogi” reached 70 million rubles, and those of “Kotiki” 167 million rubles. In the spring of 2020, in the period of isolation, the OJSC “Yedinorogi” was receiving in capacity of business support grants as small business – 184 thousand on the whole.
Kirill Ivanov personally and his group also had government procurements. In 2018, the singer took part in the creation of an image video clip for promotion of the skating ring on the territory of the Exhibition of the Achievements of Achievements of National Economy (VDNKh). For that he received 300 thousand rubles. In 2020, the group “SBPCh” performed at the festival of new culture “Another” (Drugoy) in the town Arkhangelsk for 385 thousand rubles.
One of the albums of the group “SBPCh” is called “I think there is no word for that”. Yet, for the type of Kirill Ivanov’s behavior there are some words, and the most convenient is “whoring” (prostitution).
Author: Alexey Velarov
Russian version at: «Поющий ресторатор на двух стульях»
** “Meduza” – a legal person, registered in Latvian Republic, SIA “Medusa Project”, registered number 40103797863, date of registration 10.06.2014 – a media outlet included by the decision of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation from 23.04.2021 in the list of NGOs (with No 219) fulfilling functions of a foreign agent.